Advanced Worldview Analysis - Lesson 17

The Religious Left

Christians ought to care about poverty and oppression. People who hold differing economic and social theories propose very different approaches and solutions to these problems.

Ronald Nash
Advanced Worldview Analysis
Lesson 17
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The Religious Left

The Worldview of the Religious Left
Part 1

I.  Introduction

A.  Foundation for Christian Compassion

1.  Christians ought to care about poverty and oppression.

2.  Christians need to be grounded in sound economics and social theory.

B.  Religious Right? or Religious Left?


II.  Three Main Concentrations of the Religious Left

A.  Mainline Protestant

B.  Roman Catholic - Maryknoll Order

C.  Evangelical - Our focus


III.  Historical Digression of the Main Concentrations


IV.  The New Left vs. The Old Left

A.  Forms alliances with Liberals vs. Views liberals as the enemy

B.  Workers are the revolutionary class vs. Intellectuals are the revolutionary class

C.  Workers are exploited vs. Workers are alienated

D.  Industrial socialism vs. Post-industrial socialism

E.  Gradualism vs. Revolutionary change

F.  Central planning and control vs. Decentralized decisions

G.  Liberals want to free others vs. Radicals want to free themselves

H.  Soviet distortion of Marx (Lenin) vs. Discovery of the real Marx (Marcuse)

I.  Realism vs. Utopianism

J.  Serves the People vs. Serves to live authentically

K.  Work is necessary (always conflict) vs. Work can be abolished (no conflict)

L.  Intellectual vs. Anti-intellectual and anti-theoretical

M.  Ideology vs. Style

N.  Vanguardist and elitist vs. Populist

O.  State capitalism (socialism) vs. Anarcho-socialism

All Lessons
Class Resources
  • Discussion of the content of a worldview and the criteria used to evaluate worldviews.

  • Discussion of liberalism and conservatism, and statism and anti-statism.

  • Political systems fall along a continuum between the extremes of anarchism and totalitarianism.

  • People favoring statism support extensive government involvement in education and social programs.

  • From a biblical point of view, statism is evil.

  • Discussion of justice on an individual and corporate level.

  • An economy based on capitalism has much less government involvement than an economy based on socialism.

  • Interventionism is a capitalistic economic system in which government gets involved to allow free exchange within a framework of laws.

  • Discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of capitalism.

  • Two basic concepts of economics are limited resources and the choices we make that reflect our values.

  • Marxism is an economic system based on the idea of a class struggle with the goal of a classless society.

  • Article from The Free Market

  • The Bible and Socialism, Moral Defense of Capitalism

  • We are responsible to be a good steward of the wealth God gives us to manage.

  • Some of the root causes of poverty are government, social and religious systems.

  • Liberation theology is an ideology promoted by people trained in Marxism. True liberation theology delivers people from tyranny, poverty and sin.

  • Christians ought to care about poverty and oppression. People who hold differing economic and social theories propose very different approaches and solutions to these problems.

  • Discussion of the differences between evangelical liberals and conservatives.

  • Guest Lecturer, Alejandro Moreno-Morrison discussing the inflation of rights.

  • Guest Lecturer, Alejandro Moreno-Morrison discusses legal positivism.

  • A balanced approach toward environmentalism is needed because it can be a serious threat to individual liberty.

  • Discussion of how people work in a capitalistic system to address environmental concerns.

  • The public school system in the United States has fostered functional illiteracy, cultural illiteracy, and moral/spiritual illiteracy.

  • Discussion of the pros and cons of setting up a voucher system to fund the education system.

These lectures were given at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida during the spring of 2002.